Friday, October 31, 2014

Wolfpack Wins CVC Championship Behind Smothering Defense

Just four months ago Derick Milgrim was looking forward to coaching the Cosumnes Oaks’ running backs this fall. Then one day prior to leaving on a family vacation in July he finds out his long-time friend, Ryan Gomes, was relieved of his job as head football coach of the Wolfpack.

Milgrim was asked to continue the success Cosumnes Oaks had witnessed the previous five seasons by becoming the interim head coach, just the second head football coach in the school’s brief history.
Cosumnes Oaks' football coach Derick Milgrim

Now flash forward to Halloween night and Milgrim was all smiles as his team officially wrapped up its first Capital Valley Conference championship with a 55-7 smearing of Whitney.

He admitted after a brief team post-game huddle at Cosumnes Oaks/ Franklin Stadium the Wolfpack could have emotionally fallen apart back in July upon Gomes’ dismissal, but instead chose to stick together.

“I just think this team has a lot of heart,” Milgrim said. “There’s lots of guys on this team with great character and they weren’t going to let something out of their control ruin their senior year, ruin their team.”

Plus, it was big for Cosumnes Oaks to win this particular game because it was Whitney that eliminated the Wolfpack from the playoffs two out of the past three years.

“It meant something to all the guys in the program,” he said. “It means something to some of our alumni that have had their seasons end to Whitney. Every year is a different team and they are a little bit down this year and we’re playing pretty well, but it’s good to know that if there was a jinx with them, then we’ve gotten over that.”

 -- Friday's Scores --
Cosumnes Oaks 55, Whitney 0
Elk Grove 35, Franklin 6
Grant 66, Davis 6
Pleasant Grove 23, Sheldon 9
Laguna Creek 42, McClatchy 0
Folsom 42, Oak Ridge 7
Bradshaw Chr. 59, Highlands 8
Kennedy 51, Florin 41
Saturday: Monterey Trail vs. Jesuit
Valley at Johnson

Now 7-2 with one final CVC game next Friday at Ponderosa, Cosumnes Oaks can tie for its best regular season mark ever, go a perfect 7-0 in league and find itself a team with momentum going into the playoffs.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday Night Football: CO Could Win First CVC Title

Looking forward to Friday night when I'll be at Cosumnes Oaks High School for the Wolfpack's game against Whitney. With a win Cosumnes Oaks will take the Capital Valley Conference's championship in its first season in that league.

The other big game Friday will be just across the highway at Elk Grove where the Herd will host Franklin. Big contest for both clubs because they both have a pair of Delta League losses. A third one might hurt playoff chances, definitely it would dent their seeding if they make the playoffs.

Follow these games and many others right here!

Live chat: Prep football Week 9, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31

Franklin's Tan Wins Delta Tennis Title

Franklin's Jacqui Tan won the Delta League's tennis singles championship Wednesday by defeating Avery Spector of St. Francis, 6-2, 6-2. Here are the results of Wednesday's doubles championships held at the Natomas Racquet Club:
Jacqui Tan (left) and Avery Spector (photo by Steven Shaff)

First Round
Wilson/Tham, F, def. Zhang/Hoang, MT, 6-0, 6-1

Donahue/Mould, D, def. Sterk/Ayala, PG, 6-3, 6-3

Gianulias/Benvenuti, SF, def. Doung/Brown, EG, 6-1, 6-3

Paw U/Duan, D, def. Tran/Kotstoera, S, 6-0, 6-2

Fat/Khan, SF, def. Tran/Cummings, MT, 6-0, 6-0

Jackson/Jackson, SF, Montgomery/Woldeyuhannes, S, 6-0, 6-0

Ewens/Murdoch, D, def. Chan/Akin, PG, 6-1, 6-1

Stroh/Killan, EG, Bye


Stroh/Killan, EG, def. Wilson/Tham, F, 7-5, 6-4

Donahue/Mould, D, def. Gianulias/Benvenuti, SF, 6-0, 6-2

Paw U/Duan, D, def. Fat/Khan, SF, 6-0, 6-0

Jackson/Jackson, SF, def. Ewens/Murdoch, D, 7-6, 7-5

Donahue/Mould, D, def. Stroth/Killian, EG, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5)

Paw U/Duan, D, def. Jackson/Jackson, SF, 7-6, 7-5

Donahue/Mould, D, v. Paw U/Duan, D, Thursday


Jackson/Jackson, SF, v. Stroh/Killian, EG, Late Wednesday

(thanks to Steven Shaff for providing this information)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fong, Kaur Finish 1-2 In Section Div. I Golf

Franklin juniors Kylie Fong and Gurman Kaur were one-two in the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I North individual championships Monday at North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks.

This means the pair will move on to the Section's Masters championship Nov. 3 at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton.

Fong took medalist honors on the strength of a two-over-par 74. She was two strokes better than Emily Masiel of Davis, three strokes better than Kaur's 77. 
Kylie Fong, medalist Monday at the SJS Div1North championships

Because Masiel's team finished second she will advance to the Masters as a part of the Davis squad. The team championship was won by Oak Ridge, which totaled a 421. Davis was five strokes behind. Third place in the team results was Granite Bay (446) and fourth was St. Francis (455). Those four schools will play for the Masters' team championship next Monday in Stockton.

Pleasant Grove golfer Brittany O'Bryant fired an 81, which was good for fourth amongst the individual scores and she'll also compete at the Reserve.

The Section will send three teams and four individuals to the NorCal Tournament, Monday, Nov. 10, at the Club at Crazy Horse Ranch in Salinas.

Gollnick Commits to Ind. College

By Steven Shaff, Ass't. A.D., St. Francis H.S.

Marrissa Gollnick
St. Francis senior Marissa Gollnick has committed to play volleyball and attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology next fall. Gollnick will sign with the Fightin’ Engineers on Nov. 12.

“I have been looking at engineering schools,” said Gollnick, who is from Elk Grove. “It is what I have always wanted to do. My sister went to a small engineering school and when my parents were looking for her they ran into Rose-Hulman.”
The Rose-Hulman coaches saw Gollnick play in a tournament in Las Vegas and she visited the campus in Terra Haute, Ind., over the summer.
“I really liked the campus and coach,” said Gollnick. “She was really interested and I had a chance to schedule an official visit. I stayed with the girls. It really worked out.”

Rose-Hulman competes in Division III in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic League. The school ranked No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report among institutions whose highest degree in engineering is the master's for each of the last 16 years.

“It was one of the factors in picking a school,” said Gollnick. “I wanted a high academic school. If I got a chance to play volleyball, I would play. But I did not want my college career to be all volleyball. I wanted it (based around) the academics and play some volleyball.”

The Fightin’ Engineers are coached by Brenda Gable, who is in her 19th season at the school and has won more than 200 career games.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Local Water Skiier Places 3rd At U.S. Open

A big round of congratulations go out to Brian Detrick (EGHS '07), who this weekend placed third at the U.S. Open Championships of Waterskiing in Orlando, Fla.

He actually finished in a tie for third place with current World record-holder Nate Smith and the former record-holder Will Asher with 3@41 off in the finals Saturday. The back-up scores from the qualifying round were used for the tiebreaker.
Brian Detrick

Detrick texted me, "It's a great way to end the year."

He's now ranked seventh in the world of professional water skiing.

McMahon Walks In Memory of Wife

Received an email from Tim McMahon, a man who lost his wife, Crissy, a few years ago to leukemia:

I'm raising money for a very important cause, through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk: finding better treatments and cures for blood cancers so patients can live better, longer lives. I'm asking you to help by making a tax-deductible contribution! Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly & securely. You will receive an email confirmation of your donation as soon as it is made. I thank you in advance for your support which will make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients battling blood cancers. I really appreciate your generosity!!

He's walking this Saturday, so please try to help Tim in his efforts to raise money to battle leukemia.

Johnson Upset At Refs; Crowd Responds With Verbal Hostility

Up front let me say that Franklin High School has a first-class athletic program, from top to bottom. Mike Cody is a terrific athletic director and in Bryan Kilby, baseball coach/activities' director, Jesse Formaker, boys'  basketball, Fred Marks, wrestling, and Mike Johnson, football coach, you can't find a better group of coaches.

So what I witnessed Friday night during Franklin's 35-19 loss to Jesuit in response to a series of questionable calls by the officials was really surprising - from the fans and the public address announcer.

The group of officials really didn't do that great of a job, true, especially on a Franklin punt that clearly bounced up, hit a Jesuit defender. Damian Chavez picked up the ball, looked right at an official who didn't blow his whistle and scooted into the end zone. The players all stood around while the officials sort of clumsily looked at each other to figure out what they should have called it.

They ended up giving the ball to Jesuit at the spot where Chavez picked up the ball.

It should have been a Franklin touchdown, or at least, Franklin ball where Damian touched it.

But, all night long several Franklin fans were screaming for blood from the officials - that's about the best I can describe it. On top of this, the P.A. announcer verbally berated the guys in stripes on several occasions.

I was real surprised a flag didn't get thrown against Franklin for unsportsmanlike conduct on the press box, which can be done and isn't that uncommon anymore. Perhaps this ref couldn't hear the announcements/opinions.

Johnson told me during our post-game interview he wasn't pleased with the job the refs did, but his concern was more with the lack of calls on helmet-to-helmet collisions that happened a few times Friday night.

“I can barely hear you right now because the sound of the helmet so hurt my ears," he quipped to me. "I am worried about the health of my kids. (The referees) are the ones with a whistle. They have to stop the plays. If this was the NFL, there would have been $100,000 worth of fines. I’m not saying Jesuit is dirty, these plays do happen but you have to call it.”

Johnson isn't the first coach to complain to me during a post-game interview about the job officials have done. But, this season I am hearing this more often from our local coaches, plus I am personally witnessing several questionable calls - it seems like more this year than I remember in the past.

But, fans can't become unglued to the point we see fire streaming out of their mouths. I got to think several others, like me, were annoyed by the loud, obnoxious shouts from a few.

Remember, it's just a game.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cattolico Still A Very Interested Observer

These days he’s at one son’s flag football game. Then the next day he’s rooting on his other son on the soccer field.

Former Pleasant Grove head coach Joe Cattolico is staying busy this fall, his first one since he began teaching that he hasn’t been coaching high school football.

He still is teaching social science at Pleasant Grove, but every Friday night he and father Butch, a long-time coach at Las Gatos, are in the stands at one of the area games. And, like any football coach, they are analyzing each team and keeping a mental notebook for that day, which could be as soon as next year, when both of them once again return to the sidelines.

In the meantime, though, being a fan and a dad isn’t too bad.
Joe Cattolico, now a very knowledgeable observer

“I do miss the day-to-day part (of coaching),” he admitted. “That part of it is pretty special. Getting to go out on the field with the coaches and the kids on a daily basis and practice and work on things. Friday night sort of ends up being the show-and-tell part of it for the community, which is pretty neat. The teaching really is Monday through Thursday.”

With two big games Friday night in the Delta League, involving four of its top five teams, Cattolico says he and dad will flip a coin to see which game they’ll attend.

“I think there’s two really good ball games this Friday night,” he said. “(Monterey Trail vs. Elk Grove) and Jesuit/Franklin are both going to be ball games that will come down to two or three plays, a little bit of luck and a little bit of who makes a play here and who makes a play there. It’s pretty hard to pick the outcome of those ball games.”

League-leader Grant will be at Sheldon; the Huskies winless in the Delta.

Cattolico says the Pacers are the team that has impressed him the most this fall.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Monterey Trail Scares Grant, But Pacers Hold On To Win

Monterey Trail’s veer offense put on quite an offensive show Friday night. The Mustangs ran an amazing 77 plays from the line of scrimmage, gained 471 yards, 380 of that on the ground.

Yet they lost the game.

Undefeated Grant (7-0, 4-0) came to Mark Macres Memorial Stadium that night showing exactly why they are the team to beat in the Delta League this season.

The Pacers responded to the Mustangs’ ground game with quite a display of running the football themselves. Behind tailback Deshawn Collins, who scored five touchdowns, three of those in the third quarter alone, Grant sprinted through Mustang defenders for a 54-29 win.
MT's T.J.Ewing watches his team prep for Grant Friday

“They did a good job making adjustments in the second half offensively,” Monterey Trail head coach T.J. Ewing said. “They blocked it well. They are a very explosive team. They are huge. (The running backs) hide behind their line.  (Collins) is a bit of a little guy and by time you look around those big trees, he’s around the corner and he’s gone.”

-------- Friday's Scores ----------
Elk Grove 42, Pleasant Grove 14
Franklin 49, Davis 13
Cosumnes Oaks 25, Antelope 13
Bradshaw Christian 36, Golden Sierra 28
Laguna Creek 44, Florin 6

The Pacers proved exactly that, unstoppable, particularly in the second half where they scored 40 points. They averaged 9.7 yards per play while gaining 327 yards on the ground. Collins was responsible for 223 of those yards on just 17 carries. He scored on runs of  16, 18, 33, 16 and nine yards behind a huge offensive line that tilts the scales to more than 300 pounds on average.

But, Mustang fans had something to cheer – and at times, to boo about – particularly in the first half. Monterey Trail had a 15-14 halftime lead.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Saunders Signs With Cardinals, Levin Earns Big Paycheck

Jalen Saunders has found another job in the NFL. On Oct. 2, after being waived by the New York Jets, the former Pleasant Grove High School and Fresno State/Oklahoma wide receiver was signed by the Arizona Cardinals to their practice squad.

Saunders was selected by the Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and made the roster out of training camp. However,  Saunders had issues with fumbling on punt returns and was released by New York on Sept. 28.

Levin Finishes 21st In PGA Tour Opener

It’s been a while since Elk Grove golfer Spencer Levin has appeared on the leaderboard at a PGA Tour event. In this past weekend’s 2014-2015 season opener in Napa, Levin finished 21st in the Frye’s.Com Open.

Levin finished his four rounds at a -7, eight strokes behind the winner, Sang-Moon Bae. Two good rounds – a three-under par 69 on Friday and a five-under-par 67 on Saturday – put Levin into a good position to challenge on Sunday. He fired an even-par 72 to wrap up the tournament.
Spencer Levin

He pocketed $62,400 for his weekend of play.

Levin had a rough 2013-2014 season on the Tour, finishing in the top 25 just once in the 20 events he entered. He’s already matched that with his finish on Sunday.

A year ago he made the cut only nine times, yet still earned $277, 780.

The 2003 graduate of Elk Grove High School will be in the pairings this weekend at the Tour’s next event, the Shriners’ Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Larson Finishes Sixth In Charlotte

He’s not a part of the playoffs in NASCAR, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Elk Grove driver Kyle Larson.

He looked like he might win his first-ever Sprint Cup race this past Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, but ended up sixth in the Bank of America 500.

Larson led the race for five laps twice, but couldn’t beat Kevin Harvick, the race winner.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Thriller In The House Harbaugh Built

Elk Grove High School's football team went to football heaven Friday night. At least it felt that way.

They walked through the tunnel from the locker room and onto the playing surface of brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the San Francisco 49ers and, in a couple years, the site of Super Bowl 50. Everyone paused to take on the impressive site.
Elk Grove players take a moment to look at Levi's Stadium before taking the field Friday


The dim South Bay evening skies were turned into a very bright setting in just this one spot as the lumins of the stadium lights pierced the environs below. The red seats, some 55,000 of them,  were outlined by a band of brightly-lit advertising boards that rimmed the stadium oval at the mezadine level.  The silver guard rails shone, reflecting the immensely-bright lighting above.

The Niners promoted this night, which included an earlier game between Wilcox and Santa Clara High Schools, as "Friday Night Lights". Underline the word "lights." These young men were playing on football's biggest - and newest - stage. Niner greats Jerry Rice and Roger Craig welcomed them via a video played on the stadium's huge high definition jumbotron.

The Herd's vegas-gold numerals reflected light like they were aluminum foil. The gold helmets had the glisten of the real mineral.

The whole stadium even smelled new ... and that controversy over the quality of the Levi's Stadium turf in late August is over. That's because Elk Grove and Jesuit chewed it up this night in a Delta League showdown.

The two squads ran up and down the field on each other's defense, but in the end Elk Grove's early turnovers were its downfall and the Herd dropped its second game in a row in a 42-38 loss to the Marauders.

It's the first time in three years Elk Grove (4-2, 1-2 Delta League) has lost more than one regular season game and much longer than that since the Herd has lost back-to-back contests.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Laguna Squelched By Burbank, EG Loses To Grant

Ever since Grant switched to the Delta Valley Conference in 2009 Burbank has owned football in the Metro Conference. Laguna Creek High School, new to the Metro, discovered this truth Friday night.

The Titans rudely said “Welcome to the Metro” handing the Cardinals their first-ever conference loss, 41-0, at Titan Stadium.

Last week Laguna Creek won its conference opener by squeaking by Valley, 23-20. That was also the Cardinals’ first win of the 2014 season. They are now 1-4 overall.

Any kind of momentum Laguna Creek gained in the Valley win came to an abrupt halt very fast in the loss. Burbank (2-3 overall, 2-0 Metro) scored on its first three possessions, pounding big holes in the Cardinal defense thanks to a big offensive line. Speedy runners Michael Roots, Eric Brown and Harrison Anderson were quickly into the secondary, gaining yardage in big chunks.

And, to top it off, after the first three TD’s Burbank converted each two-point conversion using a spread-the-field formation which head coach John Heffernan calls “The Gate” where three players line up on the left sideline, three others on the right sideline and the other five are bunched in the middle of the field.
 Friday Night Scores
Grant 26, Elk Grove 19
Jesuit 47, Davis 14
Monterey Trail 49, Pleasant Grove 21
Franklin 56, Sheldon 3
Cosumnes Oaks 35, Roseville 14
Sacramento 45, Florin 0
Valley 22, Kennedy 18
Bradshaw Christian 28, Vacaville Christian 0

“We ran it last year, but this year we modified it a little bit,” Heffernan said. “We just spread the field and try to take advantage of our athletes.”

Anderson, from the quarterback position, threw for one extra-pointer to Sinilau Kolokihakaufisi and the other two times virtually walked into the end zone from shotgun formation while the Cardinal defense looked dumbfounded.

Seven minutes into the second quarter Burbank led 24-0. The Titans used 11, eight and 16 offensive plays on three consecutive scoring drives. Laguna Creek had no first downs and had run just eight plays on offense.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Monterey Trail Looks To Go 5-0, EG Hosts Grant

They are the surprise team of the Delta League this fall. Monterey Trail, after a couple sub-.500 seasons, has bounced back with great effort and is undefeated at 4-0, 1-0 in the league after shutting out Sheldon, 42-0.

Now T.J. Ewing has his Mustangs prepping for tonight's showdown with Pleasant Grove, which lost narrowly to Jesuit last Friday, 28-21. A statement win by Monterey Trail would show all of us the Mustangs are for real. The Eagles need this one, too.

Across town a couple more undefeateds, Grant and Elk Grove, face off. The question will be whether the Herd can negotiate the huge offensive line of the Pacers.

Follow all the action live online here:

Tonight's EGUSD Games

Monterey Trail vs. Pleasant Grove
Grant vs. Elk Grove
Jesuit vs. Davis
Sheldon vs. Franklin
Laguna Creek vs. Burbank
Kennedy vs. Valley
Sacramento vs. Florin

Live chat: Prep football Week 5, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3

St. Francis' Reynoso Living Her Dream

Candice Reynoso
By Steve Shaff, St. Francis Assistant AD

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

Candice Reynoso accomplished a rare feat making the St. Francis volleyball team for the first time this year. It was unique in that most would still not be trying, let alone make the varsity, as a first-time player as a senior.

“Ever since freshmen year it has been my goal to make the St. Francis volleyball team,” said Reynoso, who is a product of St. Ignatius. “Because I have not made it, it made me more determined to prove that I can do it.”
Reynoso was 0 for 3 at the volleyball tryouts since coming to St. Francis but that did not keep her from trying again.

“I trained every summer, did club season and improved my skills,” said Reynoso, who played for Force Performance in Elk Grove. “I did what the coaches asked me do to. They would give me pointers at the end of tryouts and I would work on those and bring it for the next tryout. I am a really determined person. If I really want something I can work towards it. This has been my goal.”

Her dream came true this year. Head Coach Alynn Wright and assistant Bill Hanrahan meet with each player at the conclusion of tryouts and this year they gave Reynoso the happy news.

“What an amazing life skill to be that determined and persistent,” said Wright. “That is going to take her far in life. What Candice did is that she listened at each meeting and worked on the skills we told her to. She is stronger and fitter than she has ever been. She loves the game and her dream was to put on that jersey…and she earned it.”

After a strong tryout in August, Reynoso was confident but still nervous about her chances.

 “They asked me how I thought tryouts went and I told them I thought it went really good this year and that I felt confident,” recalled Reynoso about her meeting in August. “They said I proved my skill set. Coach Wright said congratulations. I started crying because I was so happy that it had happened.”

Wright, too, who has coached at St. Francis for 26 years, was touched by the moment.

“It was probably the most rewarding meeting I have ever had,” said Wright. “I can only imagine her walking in. She was probably anticipating the same news. All three of us had tears in our eyes. She was so excited she could not remember what time practice was because all she could think about was that she had achieved her goal.”

The West Sacramento native has cherished every moment with the team this season, starting with the issuing of her uniform.

“I do not think I have any words to explain it,” said Reynoso. “I was really honored to wear it and be part of the team. I could not believe it was happening.”

She made her first appearance on the court in the season-opening tournament in Reno.

 “It was really nerve-wracking,” said Reynoso. “The team was really supportive and they were all cheering each other on. It made me feel more comfortable to be on the team and represent St. Francis. It was a lot of excitement in that moment.”

Reynoso said she was helped at the tryouts by the relationships she built with several teammates on the service trip to San Francisco last summer.

“I did not have a bond with them entering the trip but it helped make feel it like we were friends and it helped me get through tryouts,” said Reynoso. “I was able to relax knowing they accepted me. The trip was really fun.”

Reynoso accomplished another first on Tuesday when she made her first appearance on the home court against Sheldon

“She has been doing great,” said Wright. “She works hard every day in practice and she is helping us get better and she is getting better. She is an inspiration to all the kids on the team and me. She is a wonderful young lady.”

A wonderful young lady whose dream came true.